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Four volumes of SUITCASE Magazine, with a new issue delivered to your door each quarter
A coastal city famed for its nightlife and beachy outline, Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel and wears its sub-ordinance gladly. Thriving art and culinary scenes point to Israel’s present and future, while a wander through the cobbled streets of rust-hued Jaffa will recall the the country’s chequered history. Here are our favourite places to stay, eat, drink, dance and play.
In its past life, The Jaffa Hotel was a 19th-century French hospital. Today, it has been thoughtfully refurbished to create a hotel that respects the old while embracing the new. Sleek, contemporary design goes hand in hand with intricate historical details resulting in an luxurious oasis in a prime location of Tel Aviv. Situated minutes from its own private beach club as well as the city centre, The Jaffa offers both relaxation and exploration on its doorstep. Not to be missed is a nighttime visit to The Chapel, a beautifully restored space owned by the hotel, that has become one of Tel Aviv’s most coveted bars.
The Shenkin may be bang in the centre of the White City but this boutique hotel stands out as one of the best places to stay. Owned and operated by Tel Aviv residents, you’ll experience the city with an insider’s view and plenty of local knowledge. Some of Tel Aviv’s best restaurants, markets and bars are within walking distance, so once you’ve tired of your king-sized bed with organic Egyptian cotton sheets and a goose-down comforter, get out and explore. Finish off your night on the hotel’s roof terrace with panoramic views of the city. Don’t miss breakfast the next day from one of the hotel’s cafés – there are two bakeries and a popular coffee shop.
Situated on Tel Aviv’s most famous boulevard, The Rothschild Hotel goes above and beyond to provide an insight into Israeli culture. The hotel is set in one of the city’s most historic buildings and stands as homage to Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild, a Frenchman who helped to establish the state of Israel. The design of the hotel combines Western influences with Middle Eastern ones, displaying local handcrafted furniture and artwork. Eco-friendly practices run throughout – the hotel has advanced heating and water systems that expend less energy. Experience it in the deluxe suite where you’ll find a rainfall shower, organic toiletries and your own private lounge area.
A destination for artists, creatives and young professionals, The Diaghilev is not just a place to stay, but also serves as an arts-space and shop. The handmade objects and furniture around the building have been created by independent designers and can be purchased if something takes your fancy. As an art concept itself, The Diaghilev continually changes to create new exhibitions for its visitors every three to four months. The H&H Hub can be found on the gallery floor, a work space for start-up companies and entrepreneurs, but if you want something more private you will find plenty of room in their luxury suite. The 50 square metre room includes your own living room, kitchenette and bathroom, making for a very accommodating stay.
The Alexander is for those who enjoy the best of both worlds in terms of city and beach. Located in the centre of Tel Aviv and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the location makes it ideal for experiencing the best of what the city has to offer. The hotel’s seven floors have spacious luxury suites, all outfitted with contemporary design – a minimal colour palette, floor-to-ceiling windows and modern art make for a bright and refreshing stay. On the roof enjoy an Israeli breakfast buffet overlooking the sea, though if you’re looking for a truly impressive view then check out the presidential suite. A sight in itself, the suite is the largest in Israel at 6,000 sq ft. The interior is entirely white and offers panoramic views of the sea from your private decking area. With your own pool, sauna and a jacuzzi both indoors and outdoors, you’ll never want to leave.
Set in a restored 1920s heritage building, Hotel Montefiore is the antithesis of your typical chain accommodation. The hotel quietly exudes luxury without the need for excessive or extravagant displays. Instead you’ll find an intimate stay with meticulous attention to detail. Each of the 12 rooms has its own unique design and décor, though all hold contemporary Israeli art and a library of books in various languages. The downstairs restaurant is a destination for both visitors and locals, and regularly plays host to the trendy natives and business clientele. Head down in the evening for a buzzing atmosphere and delicious cocktails.
Rooms from £259
The Poli House is a 40-room “experimental luxury” hotel harnessing the zeitgeist of Tel Aviv’s past, present and future while embracing a contemporary and futuristic style of hospitality. Housed in a meticulously restored Bauhaus-style building, The Poli House features warm and clean interiors created exclusively by world-renowned industrial designer/architect Karim Rashid, as well as a panoramic rooftop pool, sunbathing lounge, cocktail bar, restaurant and serene treatment rooms for solo or couple’s spa treatments.
This five-star boutique hotel is a tribute to 1920s style and elegance. Composed of two historic buildings, The Norman reflects the grandeur and decadence of the era, carrying a vintage aesthetic throughout. The Library Bar has a speakeasy quality, while the design in the second building has Renaissance influences, but all is done with a contemporary touch. Often touted as the future of Tel Aviv accommodations, The Norman’s main building has been built with a Modernist mantra. A clean décor is complemented with Macs scattered throughout the premises and the rooftop is home to an infinity pool and a Japanese restaurant. Find the time to hunt down the tower garden, the perfect space to find tranquillity either by yourself or in the morning yoga class.
Brown TLV is a 30-room urban resort offering a rooftop sun deck where homegrown DJs spin the smoothest beats against the city skyline. The space also houses a spa for guests to unwind after a long day of exploring the city. Brown TLV is at the epi-centre of the culinary, cultural and design scene in Tel Aviv.
Housed in a restored Ottoman building, with breathtaking views over the Mediterranean coastline, The Setai is a brand-new five-star hotel at the crossroads of modern and ancient Tel Aviv. The history-hungry travellers will love its location, in the heart of Jaffa. Not only is this the oldest port in the world, with a rich heritage of exotic tales, but the hotel itself is set into a former prison and police station, originally constructed as a fortress during the Crusader period. Enough to satisfy the most romantic minds…
A block away from the beach as its name suggests, this colourful boutique hotel is playfully decorated in 1950s style and houses 40 suites, most with a balcony. It’s the little sister of the Brown TLV, only much closer to the beach for those looking to experience a taste of laid-back Israeli living.
The Dave – Sons of a Brown are the new brand of low cost urban hotels unveiled by The Brown Hotels for young, fun-seeking travellers. With 35 rooms, a barber, and a tattoo parlour, the first one to open its doors is located on the bustling corner of Gordon and Ben Yehuda streets, just a two-minute walk from the beach on one side, and from the animation of the Dizengoff area on the other side. The design is playful and colourful, in a celebration of the 1970s extravaganza. Vintage prints and funky antiques fill the rooms, courtyard and rooftops, to create a fun – and borderline provocative – environment.
The Vera is a brand-new addition to the boutique hotel scene of the Rothschild area, right in the centre of town. In a will to provide guests with truly local experiences, all facilities and in-house amenities are collaborations with Tel Avivian designers and brands. The organic toiletries are created by the family owned cosmetics company Arugot, while the editors of renowned lifestyle title Telavivian deliver in-the-know advice to guests via The Vera magazine. A cocktail bar and a spa are available for socialising or relaxing, while yoga classes are held on the rooftop.
You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.
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